LAQUAVIUS "QUAY" CLEVELAND CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

 

(Walhalla, SC). An Oconee County jury found 17 year-old Laquavius “Quay” Cleveland guilty today of Attempted Murder and weapons charges. The Honorable Alex Macaulay sentenced Cleveland to 22 years in prison on the Attempted Murder charge with 5 years consecutive on the Possession of a Weapon during the Commission of a Violent Crime charge.  

 

In July of 2013, the defendant and the victim, the defendant’s cousin, met at Cleveland’s house to discuss the purchase of a handgun and some marijuana by the defendant. The defendant got in the car with the victim to examine the gun. After looking at the gun, Cleveland got out of the car and went to the back yard to test fire the weapon. Cleveland returned the gun to the victim and then entered the house and armed himself with a knife. When he returned to the car, Cleveland began stabbing his cousin. The victim was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital where he remained for four days due to the multiple life-threatening stab wounds he received. The defendant fled the scene but was arrested later the same night. 

 

“The reckless actions of Laquavius Cleveland nearly resulted in the death of his cousin,” said Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “While the defendant was 16 at the time, he committed a serious and violent crime that was deserving of today’s verdict and sentence.  Fortunately, the victim did survive and we pray for his continued recovery.” 

 

GANTT PLEADS GUILTY IN ANDERSON

(Anderson, SC). DeAngelo Sanchez Gantt pleaded guilty in an Alford plea today in Anderson General Sessions Court to Voluntary Manslaughter following jury selection and motion hearings that were conducted on Monday. The Honorable J. Mark Hayes, II, sentenced Gantt to 25 years suspended to 12 years in prison with 5 years of probation to follow. By pleading under North Carolina. v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970), although Gantt does not admit to guilt, he does concede that the State has sufficient evidence to convict.  

 

On February 16, 2012, Redmond Donald was found lying on his back at Kennedy and E. Hampton St. in Anderson. Donald had been shot 5 times and died at the scene.  

 

“The evidence in this case fully supports today’s guilty plea,” said Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “This plea and the sentence handed down by Judge Hayes takes a violent man off the streets of our community and ensures he will spend more than a decade in prison.”

WATT RETURNED TO COURT FOR SENTENCING

(Anderson, SC). Jamal Watt was returned to Anderson General Sessions Court today for sentencing on Attempted Murder, Assault & Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and Resisting Arrest. Watt had been convicted of the charges on June 18th but had failed to return to court. The Honorable Edward Welmaker sentenced Watt at that time but sealed the sentence until the defendant was taken into custody. Law enforcement apprehended Watt in Seneca on June 27, 2014 and returned him to the Anderson County Detention Center. The Honorable Cordell Maddox read the sentence today which was issued by Judge Welmaker. Watt was sentenced to 135 months in prison.  

 

The incident for which Watt was sentenced took place on February 16, 2013 at T. J. Whispers in Anderson, SC.

 

WATT CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

 

(Anderson, SC). Jamal Watt was convicted on Wednesday in Anderson General Sessions Court of Attempted Murder, Assault & Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature and Resisting Arrest. Although the Honorable Edward Welmaker sentenced Watt, the sentence will remain sealed until Watt is taken into custody. Watt attended court Monday morning but failed to attend the balance of the trial.

  

On February 16, 2013, Watt and another customer at TJ Whispers fought following a misunderstanding between the two. The victim was told to leave the nightclub and he and his fiancée went next door to Andrews nightclub. Later, deputies were called to TJ Whispers on an unrelated matter. As the deputies were attempting to leave the scene, Watt left TJ Whispers. At approximately the same time, the victim left Andrews. The defendant engaged the victim in a verbal altercation during which the defendant pulled out a pistol and fired it. One round struck the door of TJ Whispers next to one of the deputies who was struck from the debris from the shot but was not injured. Officers on the scene told everyone to lie down on the ground to allow them to search for any weapons. Watt jumped up and ran away. He was eventually found in a dumpster behind Red Lobster. He later showed deputies where he had tossed the gun.  

  

“The evidence in this case and the actions of the defendant clearly supported today’s guilty verdict,” said Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “Mr. Watt’s violent actions could have easily led to the loss of the victim’s life or the life of any of the people in the area that night.  It is my hope that law enforcement can quickly locate and apprehend Mr. Watt before he presents any further danger to our community and I encourage anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact local law enforcement immediately.”